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04.03.2019 | Invited Review | Ausgabe 4/2019 Open Access

European Journal of Applied Physiology 4/2019

Mechanisms of vitamin D on skeletal muscle function: oxidative stress, energy metabolism and anabolic state

European Journal of Applied Physiology > Ausgabe 4/2019
Katarzyna Patrycja Dzik, Jan Jacek Kaczor
Wichtige Hinweise
Communicated by Michael Lindinger.

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This review provides a current perspective on the mechanism of vitamin D on skeletal muscle function with the emphasis on oxidative stress, muscle anabolic state and muscle energy metabolism. It focuses on several aspects related to cellular and molecular physiology such as VDR as the trigger point of vitamin D action, oxidative stress as a consequence of vitamin D deficiency.


The interaction between vitamin D deficiency and mitochondrial function as well as skeletal muscle atrophy signalling pathways have been studied and clarified in the last years. To the best of our knowledge, we summarize key knowledge and knowledge gaps regarding the mechanism(s) of action of vitamin D in skeletal muscle.


Vitamin D deficiency is associated with oxidative stress in skeletal muscle that influences the mitochondrial function and affects the development of skeletal muscle atrophy. Namely, vitamin D deficiency decreases oxygen consumption rate and induces disruption of mitochondrial function. These deleterious consequences on muscle may be associated through the vitamin D receptor (VDR) action. Moreover, vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the development of muscle atrophy. The possible signalling pathway triggering the expression of Atrogin-1 involves Src-ERK1/2-Akt- FOXO causing protein degradation.


Based on the current knowledge we propose that vitamin D deficiency results from the loss of VDR function and it could be partly responsible for the development of neurodegenerative diseases in human beings.

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